Kerala: Bleak response to relief material collection

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Finance Minister Thomas Isaac lamented over misleading campaigns averting people to contribute relief materials as well as contribution to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund.

While there was a mad rush of people at the collection centres across Kerala to donate relief materials during the floods last year, this time many relief material collection centres opened in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode cities were having a bleak response.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Finance Minister Thomas Isaac lamented over misleading campaigns averting people to contribute relief materials as well as contribution to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund.

Volunteers at some of the collection centres said that though they approached many requesting them to contribute relief materials, may be expressed an indifference citing allegations in lapses in disbursal of relief materials collected during 2018 floods. "Last year within hours truckloads of relief materials could be collected and dispatched. But this time the volunteers have to wait for even one carton to be filled," said Rajesh Kumar, a volunteer at a collection centre in Thiruvananthapuram city.

A campaign was allegedly going on in the social media over the last couple of days averting the public from contributing to the relief initiatives. Alleged lapses in the distribution of relief materials, massive wastage of relief materials, alleged lapses on the part of the government is extending assistance to the calamity hit and allegations of misuse of contributions received by the government for flood rehabilitation were some of the reasons being highlighted by those spreading campaigns against contributing to the relief initiatives. Many volunteers were even initiating to supply relief materials directly at relief camps. However, the government was not encouraging it.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the allegations of misusing funds received in the CM's distress relief funds were baseless. He urged the people to reject such baseless campaigns. In order to avoid piling up of excess relief materials, list of items required at each camp would be prepared and based on that items will be dispatched from the collection centres, he said.

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